Being in proximity to a variety of locations — Qatar is a bustling and extremely busy transit point. The airport in the capital city of Doha — Al Hamad International Airport has become a common layover spot for overseas travellers. It is estimated that the country receives a whopping 1.8M tourists every year.
Here’s a quick guide for your tourist journey in the Gulf nation.
If you are in Qatar for a very short time and can afford to visit one place only — hit the desert. Dune bashing is among the most exciting activities you can experience in the tiny country. The steep dunes make the ride in the desert adventurous and memorable.
The tour operator will make it easy for you to arrange the trip. Many tour operators will send a car directly to your hotel to pick you. You can even spend time under the stars at night in a sumptuous Arabian tent or eat the tantalizing regional food.
If you are intrigued by old sites, don’t forget to visit Souq Waqif — a traditional Arab market that was revamped to offer a unique environment for the visitors.
The Souq is similar to a maze which contains shops selling sweets, spices, fabric, household stuff and much more. You may also spot a woodcarver or a tailor busy doing their work. If you are in a mood to dine-in — there are a couple of Syrian and Lebanese restaurants which offer mouth-watering food.
With its majestic seven-kilometre promenade that spans over the Persian Gulf, Doha Corniche is a stunning place to visit. From having a coffee to flying a kite — each corner of the corniche is filled with exciting activities.
If you want to witness the picturesque view of the city, catch a dhow as it passes through the glistening water. The view is breathtaking especially at night time when everything is lit up and it becomes lively.
Al Jassasiya Rock Carvings
Al Jassasiya Rock Carvings is another mysterious place to visit. There are around 950 carvings with depictions of fish3, cups, footmarks and rosettes.
In the past years, finding the location was a hassle as the place is secluded but, now many tour operators will guide you to the destination.
You have to drive on tough terrains to reach it so it is recommended to grab a 4×4 vehicle.
Some scientists have suggested that the rocks date back to 3rd century BC, while a few think they were formed between the 10th and 18th centuries AD. It is located to the north of Doha.
Dine-in at the eclectic cafes
While you are exploring all these marvelous attractions, don’t forget to experience the diverse food cuisines in the country. From restaurants in the hotel to the cafes at the roadside — there are numerous dining places in the country which will leave your taste buds surprised.
If you want to test the Spanish art of tapas, drop by at The Cellar — a Spanish restaurant which services mouth-watering Mediterranean fare. Situated within the popular Doha Radisson Blu Hotel — Ruby Wu’s is a Chinese restaurant that offers a variety of dishes including tantalizing beef, scrumptious dumplings and tangy snapper.
Latino — a South-American restaurant, features a pleasant ambiance with dim lights and wooden furniture. Every aspect of the restaurant is related to the theme of South-America. They have a whole section on the menu which is dedicated to ceviche, well-known seafood in many regions of America.
Pro Tip: One cannot expect so much diversity from a tiny country like Qatar, which spans an area of merely 11,000 sq. km. If you want to make your journeys easy and comfortable, get the tourist car rental from Al Muftah. They have a broad fleet of vehicles and offer them on attractive prices.